How will automation impact restaurant operations?
Automation is here to help.
Are you ready for it?
It comes in many forms - robots that wash dishes, kitchen sensors that help restaurants adhere to safety standards, and software that can automate scheduling and optimize food spend. In the upcoming years, automation will help restaurants remain competitive amidst so much industry change. Restaurants are asking, what are some attainable first steps to finding a solution that is both accessible and impactful for our business? And how will all of this affect our staff and customers?
Below we provide some practical ways automation is replacing rote tasks, augmenting kitchen staff, and repurposing roles altogether. What it means to work at a restaurant is changing overnight. Humans may no longer bus tables, but they will be greeting guests…and upkeeping the machines.
Automation can remove the need for human employees altogether; best suited for quick service restaurants looking to improve efficiency, reduce costs, or solve labor gaps.
Automated kiosks take orders at McDonald’s
Automation is about replacing mindless tasks that are making restaurant staff less productive.
Customers spend 30% more money when using self-service kiosks than through the traditional ordering line
Cofounder, Science On Call
Specific tasks are automated to work alongside and aid human staff.
Penny, the 3.5-foot tall serving and bussing robot by Bear Robotics, assists staff by delivering drinks, food, and checks to the table.
At the end of the day, automation is there to remove the burden from people.
A waiter walks, on average, 8 miles in a shift. Penny can relieve 30-40% of this running.
Principal System Architect, Nimble Robotics
Source: Bear Robotics
Automation takes over one job but creates another.
Creator Burger, a robotic burger assembly machine, removes the need for a chef but now requires staff to monitor, refill, and maintain it.
BURGERS PER HOUR
The machine took 8 years and 50 engineers to build.
With 350 sensors and 20 computers, the machine measures and dispenses every ingredient used – down to the milliliter of mango chutney aioli and the ounce of habanero sea salt – masterfully reproducing the chef-inspired burger every single time.
Ultimately, over 200 of these perfect burgers are created in an hour.
Whether replacing, augmenting, or repurposing, it’s safe to say automation is helping.
Whether restaurants are seeking to mitigate costs, uncover new opportunities, or better meet the needs of customers, automation holds a huge amount of promise in helping restaurants of all sizes succeed; automation can enhance--not replace--the human touch a restaurant requires.